Coffeehouse Thread

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One week on Windows 8

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  • User profile image
    AndyC

    @ManipUni: It doesn't take you to the sign in page, it just requires you to click on the sign in link before you're actually signed in, even though Windows is fundamentally linked to your LiveId already.

    LastPass would possibly be a solution on the desktop (though somewhat of a sledgehammer to crack a nut type solution) but it doesn't help when using Metro mode IE.

    On an only mildly related note, has anyone come up with a Metro-free way of saying Metro-style applications yet? Modern-style really doesn't work and neither does Windows 8-style, as evidenced by the countless MSDN posts and pages that still refer to it as Metro.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , AndyC wrote

    On an only mildly related note, has anyone come up with a Metro-free way of saying Metro-style applications yet? Modern-style really doesn't work and neither does Windows 8-style, as evidenced by the countless MSDN posts and pages that still refer to it as Metro.

    I'm thinking Mmmmmm-apps.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    @AndyC: Well Visual Studio calls them "Windows Store apps".

    I think "immersive apps" was one of the early names in development, and it's still the one that makes the most sense IMO ("Metro style" was IMO never a good name and always confusing because what if it's a desktop app that uses the Metro design style like MetroTwit or Office 2013, or even an app on another platform like Windows Phone or Xbox). If I got to pick, I'd pick that, but in practice I still usually use "Metro style" because people (the sort of people who hang out on tech forums anyway) are more likely to actually know what it means.

    In the long run, I think the idea is they are simply called "Windows apps": http://www.neowin.net/news/from-the-forums-microsoft-whats-metro-called-then

  • User profile image
    cbae

    Just call it what it really is: Zune UI or Zune-style

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , contextfree` wrote

    In the long run, I think the idea is they are simply called "Windows apps": http://www.neowin.net/news/from-the-forums-microsoft-whats-metro-called-then

    What then does one call an app that runs on Windows but is not metro?

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Or we could call them Iris Apps?

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    , cbae wrote

    Just call it what it really is: Zune UI or Zune-style

    Careful...they might just pull a Surface and do that.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , GoddersUK wrote

    *snip*

    What then does one call an app that runs on Windows but is not metro?

    a Desktop Application.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    @GoddersUK: It's a Windows desktop app. Basically it's

    Windows -> ("Metro style") App

    Windows -> desktop -> app

    Think of it as

    C:\Windows\app1, C:\Windows\app2

    vs.

    C:\Windows\desktop\app1, C:\Windows\desktop\app2 ...

    The point is that because "Metro" is conceptually the top level, it doesn't need to have ANY name (other than "Windows") - it's just the "root directory".

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    I'm thinking Mmmmmm-apps.

    Not to be confused with Google Mmmmmmm-apps

    http://www.google.com/mobile/maps/

  • User profile image
    bureX

    So, here's what I think (RTM version)...

    The good:

    • Straightforward installation, kudos on the new license agreement! It's actually readable!
    • Fast boot, fast UI, no glitches at all. When placing a metro app on the side, it's a smooth transition, there is no flickering of the desktop and my desktop apps aren't going crazy.
    • Good compatibility. Although I had to reinstall VMWare in order to get it running, and the graphics driver crashed on me before I downloaded the official one from nVidia, and Windows Live apps were screwed up, it was mostly smooth sailing. If this were a clean installation, everything would be tip-top.
    • The new sounds - pleasant, simple, non intrusive. 
    • The new "PC settings" option. Although it's waaay waaaay underfeatured, it's a good start. If your mom & pop want to set up their PC, they won't get scared as they once used to when they opened up Control Panel.
    • "Simplicity" - wanna launch a browser? There's the icon, click the damn thing. Wanna listen to music? Sure - there's the icon (ehm... tile) for that. How about I wanna go back? Just press the windows button. It's that simple. You can put Windows 8 on your computer illiterate friends' and parents' desktops and have a piece of mind, they won't screw anything up, they won't call you to ask how to get out of "this and that". There are no bundles of icons and no toolbars to crowd the screen.
    • "Refresh PC", "Recycle PC". You can reinstall pretty much everything and fix almost any problem with this... OVER THE PHONE! "Click this" and you're done! No DVDs, no reinstalls... it just works.

    The bad:

    • Metro. OH GOD WHY!? I get it though... Microsoft wants to create a nice friendly ecosystem that you can enjoy on your tablet, as well as on your PC. If you create an app for RT, it should run on x86/x64, and I respect that. But why the hell did you have to demote the desktop to a single tile? It's that tile where I spend 98% of my day on! And even worse, it's completely cut off from the metro UI. While metro can intrude and present notifications on the desktop (which I find to be great), there is no vice versa. The desktop shuts up when it's not being used, and that's a bad thing.
    • The metro UI. OH GOD KILL ME NOW ARGHHAHAH!!! - To elaborate... I'm using a widescreen monitor in a comfortable chair. My hands are in front of me, and I'm using a keyboard/mouse combo. I'm not on a tablet. Read my lips Microsoft - I DO NOT WANT HUGE INTERFACES on a huge widescreen monitor! Why the hell do I have to have every single app show up in full screen? Even if it's just a crappy mail client, I want to see what's going on in the background. I don't want a 10ft user interface on my desktop.
    • The metro UI/desktop inconsistencies. Right click in a metro app - a huge menu pops up... wanna click quickly on an item in it? NOPE! You have to drag your mouse over to the huge label that just popped up and click the damn thing, as if I'm using a finger. Here's a hint, Microsoft: if I'm using a mouse, I don't need that big of a menu. Remember Windows 7 and it's touch interface? When things on the taskbar got "touched", a large finger-friendly menu popped up... when it was the mouse doing that, the menu was shorter and smaller - mouse friendly, if you will. Alright... now how about you right click the recently used apps on the left sidebar? A plain windows UI menu pops up! Click on the date/time in the system tray... an old fashioned Windows Vista/7 like box pops up... click on the language bar - and here you have a HUGE language menu selection bar! Click on the sound icon next to it, and here's classic windows next to it. Click the network icon next to it, and here's a metro sidebar popping up! Click the action center icon on the left, and it's back to plain old Windows UI again. MAKE UP YOUR MIND! And what's up with that right click? Sometimes you get plain popup menu, sometimes you get a popup bottom-bar with some options, sometimes it pops up on top, and there's very little to do here! Say I want to delete an e-mail in the mail app... you right click it and... wait, what? Where's the delete button? Oh, it's UP THERE, in the top-right corner! Ok... Now, I want to drag the mail into a separate folder... I can't? Wait, what? I want to create a new folder... I can't? OH COME ON!
    • You'll be using the desktop. A lot. If you're sitting in front of a PC, you're most likely a multitasker. A few computer illiterate folks will appreciate the simplicity of the Metro Start menu, as I have stated above, but after a while, you'll find it very difficult to read e-mail and then quickly switch to another song in a music app while in Metro. On a tablet, this would be normal, but this is the desktop - we won't go back to the stone age. I want to get s**t done.
    • Network settings. Why oh why can't I do anything in PC settings with the network without switching to the old interface in the control panel!? Are you mad?
    • The control panel. It's still there, and you'll have to use it if you want to set stuff up.
    • The start menu. Although it's fast, I see no reason for it to take the whole screen, and for it to be so drastically lacking in customization. I can't even drag a shortcut to it.
    • Everything else. It's plain ol' Windows 7. There. Windows 8 is an updated, polished Windows 7 with the Metro UI pretending it's boss, when in fact it's just NOT. The metro UI on the PC should have been broken down and separated into layers for non full-screen, mouse-friendly use, but not this. Instead of trying to fuse the desktop with tablets, Microsoft just threw up it's tablet UI on the desktop and created a desktop "tile". BAD.

    Imagine if Google released an x86 android "desktop" where you could basically use the android touch screen apps (even those have buttons), and marketed it as a Windows competitor? Well, we'd laugh it off and tell the big G to go screw himself. No multitasking, no shuffling with activities, big lacks in customization... But what different is that from this? An oversized mobile platform on a 22" screen with an app store acting as the commander in chief of my PC? Please, no. Go away.

    Back to the desktop, the best "app" on this system. I won't be using many metro apps on my PC, that's for sure.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    Your points are mostly valid but a few nitpicks:

    "And even worse, it's completely cut off from the metro UI. While metro can intrude and present notifications on the desktop (which I find to be great), there is no vice versa."

    This technically isn't true (though it might be true in practice, depending on what desktop apps you use) - desktop apps do have access to the APIs for the new notifications which can appear on top of Metro style apps and the start screen. However, support has to be added by the developer (so far the only app I'm aware of that supports them is Outlook).

    " you'll find it very difficult to read e-mail and then quickly switch to another song in a music app while in Metro."

    While I don't disagree with your general point, this particular scenario is pretty easy - you can just hit a volume control key or button (on a keyboard, tablet, or whatever) and an overlay will appear displaying the now-playing background audio, next, previous and pause/play controls.

    "The start menu. Although it's fast, I see no reason for it to take the whole screen, and for it to be so drastically lacking in customization. I can't even drag a shortcut to it."

    Technically you can put any desktop shortcut on the start screen (though not by dragging). You can right-click or use the ribbon for desktop apps/executables and folders, and though it's not exposed in the UI, it's actually possible to pin individual documents as well by copying shortcuts to them into the Start Menu folder (the same one in Windows 7) - you can get there via "Open file location" on the right-click menu for a pinned desktop app. This is basically a hack and for some reason it takes a few minutes for the document tile to show up.

     

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Okay, this was weird. I noticed my computer wasn't running entirely smooth, and then I noticed my C: drive had only 325MB free. Which is way, way less than it should be.

    Not knowing what the heck was going on, I reboot, and lo and behold, I've got 77GB free.

    Checking the event log, it says the indexing service deleted the old search index because it was corrupt. So something the search indexer was doing managed to corrupt the index and grow it to 77GB in size. WTF?

    I've never seen anything like this before, not with the old desktop search on XP, nor on Vista or Win7. Anyone ever experience something like this?

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @bureX: +1000 If you call it "Windows 8 Tablet Edition" and "Touch Apps" it makes sense. Anything else will drive you mad.

    @Sven Groot: I think you must be holding it wrong. Wink You either have bad drivers or it's something that Microsoft will fix before release (you know RTM v2). In either case no worries. Perplexed

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @Sven Groot: I think you must be holding it wrong. Wink You either have bad drivers or it's something that Microsoft will fix before release (you know RTM v2). In either case no worries. Perplexed

    This is why I dislike Agile/Scrum because you end up with software like Windows 8. The Product and Program managers have met their releases/deadlines, when the testers found bugs, it was put in the "will be fixed via Windows update queue".

    I have been using it for little while as well, and boy is it buggy. This may have been mentioned before, but on two monitors, I keep missing the charms bar and going to my second screen. Maybe I need to move my main desktop to the right, but obviously the charms bar was very well thought out for people with two monitors and not a tablet.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    , vesuvius wrote

    This may have been mentioned before, but on two monitors, I keep missing the charms bar and going to my second screen. Maybe I need to move my main desktop to the right, but obviously the charms bar was very well thought out for people with two monitors and not a tablet.

    That's strange, because the hot corners "capture" the mouse for me, as long as you move there along an edge that's not adjacent to another monitor (in my case the top or bottom). Also, the corners work on any monitor, so you could always just get the charms bar on the right-most monitor if you're having trouble with the other one.

  • User profile image
    GaryW

    Only a couple of days of RTM usage in (I skipped the CP and RC).

    Won't bother commenting on "Metro" itself as it's been done to death, but if MS really want to sell it to the users, the OOB apps supplied with Win8 should've been much, much better.

    I'm not expecting bundled music or video apps to be anywhere near as good as, say, Winamp or MPC, but the ones supplied are truly dire. They're all gloss and no functionality. My music collection is a dozen unknown albums by unknown artists with several hundred songs in each. Bug with the tag reading methinks.

    The photo app won't read photos from the network (loads of folders, no content).

    Don't get me started on lack of codec & container support (but it was only to be expected, so not exactly shocked).

    Lack of Start button on desktop really is insane though. Even if it came completely empty and let you hang stuff off it that would've been sufficient. Seem to have to go to Start screen, show all apps, pin to taskbar (no option for create desktop shortcut).

    Start up from hibernate with my SSD is excellent, so no qualms about performance so far.

    Had to disable signed drivers to get graphics driver installed though (laptop...sony...64-bit...hacked inf...grumble).

    So far, so hmmm.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    I now have around 200 or so Apps and have spent some time creating categories and keeping them tidy on my desktop.

    but ...

    I would have liked the option of grouping them by store category from the outset - even if that is just my starting point for further sorting.

    No brainer?

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